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I am on a kindness kick today. I have ranted about it to my friends, family, and now, Internet, it’s your turn.
It started when I wrote a post for my advice column on our school newspaper’s blog directed toward the latest batch of Columbia admits. Basically, I told them that they could be anyone and do anything that they wanted here without losing their sense of self.
And then. Oh, and then. Someone left a long comment (an advice column in itself, really), saying that the one thing that people should know before coming to college is that it’s not high school, that nothing comes easy, that they won’t be the best here, and that they should try to sleep when they can, because they won’t be able to often.
First of all—babe, get your own advice column. But second of all—why are you threatening them? Why are you doing that thing that people always do? That thing where you make the thing that you have done sound so hard to the person who still must do it, when it wasn’t, and isn’t, and they will be fine—better than fine, even—if they refuse to believe like you believe?
And the worst part is that person after person after person clicked on the stupid thumbs up button next to the comment.
And it just got me thinking about how, for all of the things at my school that I love—really love, because it is a pretty wonderful place—there are also things that I don’t. Namely, how pretentious and petty people can be. How small they are in asserting their own bigness.
And I thought about how, of all the lessons I’ve learned in all of my classes here, there is none so important as the need to be kind and decent and good to oneself and others. Because if you don’t have that—if you don’t try to be kind—you have not, I don’t think, learned anything here at all.
Anyway, Internet. That was—and is—my kindness kick.